Ending Homelessness Together

Homelessness Week 2018 Wrap Up.

‘You can’t have Housing First…without housing…first‘ – it’s quite a powerful statement and a solution which Australian and International evidence strongly support.

To kick start Homelessness Week the National Homelessness Conference was held in Melbourne 6-7 August. International Guest Speaker Juha Kaakinen shared Finland’s secrets to ending homelessness. Juha left attendees with this undeniable truth. A housing first model works.

It seems a no-brainer really, yet despite the great success of the Housing First model in Finland, here in Australia, we are still trying to convince our leaders that homes fix homelessness.

Across Australia, Homelessness Week was a terrific opportunity for the sector to call on our leaders to urgently address the factors which have contributed to 116,000 Australians being counted as homeless1.

For many reasons the number of people experiencing homelessness continues to surge. One contributing factor is a lack of affordable housing.

Homelessness Australia, the national peak body for homelessness in Australia together with The Council to Homeless Persons in Victoria have been campaigning for the government to fix the housing system in Australia.

The Everybody’s Home campaign featured heavily during Homelessness Week with sector partners all joining in the call for more affordable housing options for renters, first home buyers and people who just need a safe roof over their heads.

The Everybody’s home campaign focuses on five simple things our government can do to fix the housing system;

  1. Support for first home buyers;
  2. A national housing strategy;
  3. A better deal for renters;
  4. Immediate relief for Australians in chronic rental stress, and
  5. A plan to end homelessness by 2030.

 

Nationally, homelessness has increased by 14% in five years. “Shockingly, two in every five-people counted as homeless on Census night are under the age of 25. Prevention and early intervention is the key to tackling our homelessness crisis,” says Kids Under Cover CEO, Jo Swift.

During Homelessness Week we were excited to complete the first of two studios as part of the Short Stays Studio Program pilot.

Long-time foster carers Maria and Paul have since welcomed into the studio a 15-year-old girl who contacted Child & Family Services Ballarat (CAFS) seeking emergency accommodation.

Maria and Paul outside the one-bedroom studio which is part of the Short Stays Studio Program pilot

The young person will stay in the studio while CAFS work towards arranging longer-term housing and connect her to other support services.

Homelessness Week is a great time to start conversations and raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face & the action needed to achieve enduring solutions. But, it is important we keep the conversations going throughout the year to ensure real action is taken to end homelessness.

 

1 ABS Census 2016 data

 

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